Episode 121. Close Quarters: Single White Female (1992)

What kind of person could you live with? Barbet Shroeder’s paranoid erotic thriller seeks to answer that question and more as it delves into queer fear, sexual conservatism, property rights and female intimacy. 
If you’re Toronto, catch Alex’s lecture on Brexit in the modern British horror film on October 17 at the Revue Cinema – get your tickets here. 


Single White Female. Dir. Barbet Schroeder, 1992. 


You Must Remember This. Katrina Longworth’s in-depth look at Hollywood, including the last two seasons on the Erotic ’80s and ’90s
The Rise and Fall of the Erotic Thriller. An overview of the complicated sub-genre. 
A Room Of One’s Own. Virginia Woolfe’s treatise on women and access to private spaces. 
Queersighted: The Gay Best Friend Criterion Collections video discussion of the problematic trope


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3 thoughts on “Episode 121. Close Quarters: Single White Female (1992)

  1. Another excellent episode. I keep trying to “rate” these on APPLE but cannot find the “star” function. Anyone know where to look?

  2. Aaron Spickelmire says:

    For a closer examination of the direct-to-video Erotic Thriller genre, I would highly recommend the recent documentary “We Kill for Love.” Running almost three hours, it’s very exhaustive and covers every aspect of the genre that you could think of.

  3. FictionIsntReal says:

    I didn’t think of this as an “erotic” thriller, because it’s not about a sexual relationship. I was reminded of Pacific Heights (perhaps the only film where the renter is the baddy and the protagonists are the landlords), which admittedly featured much less intimacy with the antagonist than this.

    I don’t think the wave of erotic thrillers was a product of puritanism (American was more puritanical prior to the 60s). Paul Verhoeven is not a puritan. His Basic Instinct also didn’t feature any return to a nuclear family. Fatal Attraction did, and that also had an ending changed from the original one scripted after test-screen audiences demanded a more cathartic comeuppance for the antagonist.

    Cape Fear is a remake of a 1962 movie, so I don’t think that indicative of the 80s/90s.

    I’m surprised you’re surprised rent control is controversial. It’s not like the controversy is new.

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